Posted on Friday, June 20th, 2014 by Angie Han
The last time Scott Rudin had a Michael Lewis adaptation on his hands, he got Aaron Sorkin to help turn it into a critically acclaimed hit. So now that he’s got another Lewis adaptation in the works, he’s naturally bringing Sorkin back on board.
The Oscar-nominated scribe is in talks to pen Flash Boys, based on Lewis’ bestseller about high-frequency trading on Wall Street. Which sounds like kind of a dense, dull topic, but then so did sabermetric analysis before Rudin and Sorkin made it look interesting in Moneyball. Hit the jump for more details.
THR got the scoop. Lewis’ nonfiction tome centers on a group of Wall Street guys — including former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov and IEX founder Brad Katsuyama — who band together to battle the unfair practice of high-frequency trading.
Sorkin and Rudin haven’t been able to get enough of each other over the past few years. Sorkin wrote The Social Network, which Rudin produced, and turned in a draft for Rudin’s Moneyball. (Sorkin earned an adapted screenplay Oscar nomination for his trouble.)
They recently teamed up again for the still-developing Steve Jobs movie, which has Danny Boyle attached to direct. In addition, Rudin serves as an executive producer on Sorkin’s HBO drama The Newsroom.
Journalist and author Lewis is quickly becoming a Hollywood favorite. He wrote the book that inspired The Blind Side as well as Moneyball, and there are adaptations of his tomes The Big Short and Liar’s Poker in the works.
Rudin’s recent hits include The Grand Budapest Hotel, Captain Phillips, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Frances Ha. His next release is the untitled Cameron Crowe romance starring Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone.
Here’s the summary of Lewis’ book:
Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post–financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading—source of the most intractable problems—will have no advantage whatsoever.
The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think “Wall Street guy.” Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world’s stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.
The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for your blood pressure, because if you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. But in the end, Flash Boys is an uplifting read. Here are people who have somehow preserved a moral sense in an environment where you don’t get paid for that; they have perceived an institutionalized injustice and are willing to go to war to fix it.